ROXBURY, NJ – A high-speed chase along Route 46 through Roxbury ended abruptly in Kenvil today when the eastbound vehicle being pursued by State Police smashed head-on into a pickup truck.
The white car, its front-end substantially damaged, was quickly surrounded by state troopers with guns drawn, said witnesses. Within minutes of the event, which took place at about 1:30 p.m., many more police cars and ambulances were at the scene near Ballantine Street.
The man driving the car and a woman who was a passenger were eventually taken away in ambulances. Witnesses said the occupants of the pickup, including a woman and a young child, appeared to escape substantial injury.
It was also a close call for Neal McArdle, a mechanic at Kenvil Automotive. The white car clipped the side of a BMW McArdle was driving, damaging a fender and knocking off the driver’s side mirror, an instant before hitting the pickup.
“I was waiting to make a left (into the repair shop) and then he came and went around on the driver’s side of the vehicle, sideswiped me and then hit head-on into the truck,” McArdle said. “And then the cop’s right next to me, pulling a gun.”
Kent Meinhold, of Sparta, said he was getting lunch in the nearby R&B Deli when he saw a police car heading west on Route 46 right before he heard a loud bang. “I heard a boom down here, then all the State Police cars came,” Meinhold said. “I didn’t really know what was going on.”
Meinhold said three or four troopers, with guns pulled, surrounded the white car’s driver who was out of the vehicle quickly and taken into custody.
Another man, who would not provide his name, said he saw the white car being chased farther west on Route 46 in the Kingtown Mountain area of Ledgewood. The man said he was with a state Department of Transportation crew fixing cracks in the far-right, eastbound lane of the highway at the time.
He said the white car zoomed past the work crew, followed by several State Police cars. “They were moving at a good clip of speed,” he said.
The man, one of dozens of onlookers at the crash scene, ended up there because he “just happened to be coming” to Kenvil, “saw all the lights” and figured they had something to do with the chase he witnessed.
Police did not immediately release information about the incident.
The crash forced police to close off a section of the highway and send motorists on detours through side streets of Kenvil.